Transplant Australia today honoured the 454 people who became donors last year, stating their lifesaving decision and the support of their families provided new life for 1,224 Australians.
Transplant Australia CEO, Chris Thomas, commenting on the release of the 2022 Australian Donation and Transplantation Activity Report, said today was firstly about acknowledging these families and the hard-working donors, nurses, and support staff in the DonateLife network and transplant hospitals who made it possible.
“Every deceased donor has made a huge difference to the lives of others. Living donations also provided another 224 Australians with a kidney transplant. Each of these decisions should be acknowledged and supported.”
Transplant Australia is concerned about the residual impact of the COVID pandemic on organ donation numbers and appreciates the Government’s acknowledgment that more donors were needed.
“Transplant Australia is working closely with the Federal Government and the Organ and Tissue Authority to improve our donation system. We need to re-set the conversation with the Australian public while continuing to look at best practice models across the world to see how we can improve donation,” Mr Thomas said.
“What is clear is that a family consent rate of 54 per cent – down from 56 per cent in 2021 – needs to be urgently addressed. We acknowledge the challenges in our hospital systems throughout the pandemic. It is heartening to see an eight per cent increase in donation on the numbers from 2021 however the years 2018 and 2019 showed Australia can do better.”
Transplant Australia late last year released a roadmap to improved donation. The Greatest Gift Legacy Project has been released to coincide with the hosting of the World Transplant Games in Australia in Perth in April 2023.
That project includes aiming for greater impact in the healthcare sector including:
- Governments to commit to achieving a consent rate target of 75 per cent by 2030
- Advocating to Federal and State Governments to support the DonateLife network to ensure all potential donors are realised and potential donor families are supported throughout the process
- 100 per cent Routine referral to DonateLife of all planned end of life in the ICU or ED
- 100 per cent Checking of the Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR)
- 100 per cent of the donation conversations with families have a donation nurse specialist involved
- Encourage the sector to better understand the logistical and medical reasons that impact on the total number of donors achieved each year
- Updating and standardising the Human Tissue Acts in each state and territory
- Acting as an important advocate for all those waiting and especially those with diverse and Indigenous backgrounds so that all Australians have the best possible chance to receive a transplant.
We will continue to advocate for the 1,800 Australians waiting for a transplant. All Australians can make a commitment to helping them by registering as a donor at donatelife.gov.au and letting their families know their decision.
To view the full 2022 Australian Donation and Transplantation Activity Report, click here.